Stinson v. Maye, No. 19-10815, (11th Cir. 08-25-2020)

Stinson v. Maye, No. 19-10815, (11th Cir. August 25, 2020)

By: Adria Lynn Silva on September 10, 2020

 

In an unpublished decision, Stinson v. Maye, No. 19-10815, (11th Cir. August 25, 2020) , the Eleventh Circuit held that in a middle school gang rape case, where the principal brushed aside the Title IX complaint, made gender based remarks about the victim, and kicked the victim out of school, that the principal was high enough in the chain of command to impute liability to the funding recipient (School Board). Specifically the Eleventh Circuit held:

We have explained that an “appropriate person” is a school official who is “high enough up the chain-of-command that his acts constitute an official decision by the school district itself not to remedy the misconduct.” Id. (citation omitted)… Doe v. Sch. Bd. of Broward Cty., 604 F.3d 1248, 1256 (11th Cir. 2010)….After all, principals usually have the authority to “take corrective measures” to respond to allegations of student-on-student harassment. Id.

In addition, the Eleventh Circuit held that in some circumstances, a funding recipient cannot rely on a police investigation alone and that the recipient must act reasonably in light of the known circumstances.